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Saturday, 17 January 2009 12:28

'Lawful Rebellion' Conference

Actions Not Words

Held on Saturday, 24 January 2009 - King's Hall, Stoke-on-Trent

Our civil liberties, Constitution and Common Law are under attack and being dismantled.
Governance of our country is being handed over to the European Union and other unelected and unaccountable supranational corporate bodies without our consent.


Our economy has been handed over to a transnational corporate and banking oligarchy.


Our privacy is being constantly violated and our democracy degraded.


Our politics are dominated by a culture of stealth, deceit, treason, duplicity and criminality.


Our law is no longer a friend and protector, but increasingly onerous, invasive, disproportionate, corrupted by special interests and institutional gravy trains, and itself illegal and unconstitutional.

Saturday, 10 January 2009 10:30

Galactica Sale of the Century


NBC Universal has also announced a series Of Live Panel Discussions with key Creative Executives from the series during Auction Preview Day, Friday, 16 January.

Final preparations for the live auction event at the Pasadena Convention Centre in California are now underway. The auction catalogue is available for viewing or for purchase at www.battlestarprops.com.

Friday, 21 November 2008 14:37

Interview: Gillian Anderson

Out in time for Christmas is the long-awaited return of NEW X-FILES - in the shape of the second big screen movie for the franchise - "I Want To Believe". Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny are reunited as the iconic Scully and Mulder to show the diehard fans what has been going on in their lives since their small screen adventures concluded.

Gillian Anderson takes times out from her busy schedule to give us an insight into returning to the character that made her famous...

Monday, 25 February 2008 07:41

Soaps - For Girls Only?

Are all these daily dramas of any appeal to men? ...


In the beginning, man created soap operas … a cheap and cheerful way to hook housewives into a continuing serial, a format that would give washing powder manufacturers the chance to constantly harangue such poor defenceless creatures of the 1950s into submission. Almost brainwashed, these women would go out shopping and subconsciously pick up the brand whose money had been put into their favourite fix of escapism.

To this day, it's interesting to note that it's only women who get transfixed into the plotlines of soaps and actually believe they are watching real slices of life (I should note that not all women are like this - just the chattering majority, it would seem). Us gents, however, see jobbing actors in a piece of fluff designed to fill space between the news and the next big sit-com. Men were never really a target market of these shows - we don't buy the right stuff for the advertisers concerned, so we were never pandered to by the formats.

Only, this seemed to change at some point in the 1990s. Exactly when is a little more difficult. It was definitely post-Kylie. In fact, it may well have been the success of Australian Soaps that made British Production Companies rethink their strategy. Suddenly, us blokes were being courted to stick with Sud Arias due to the high Babe quotient suddenly injected into these tired programmes. And there we are, us guys, who have better things to do with our telly viewing hours, suddenly paying a passing interest to the soaps just because of the female eye candy being paraded in front of us.

Aren't we just shameful? You can tell we're not interested in the shows or their paper-thin repetitive plots. Why? Well, we're more likely to know the actresses by their real names than their character names. If a market researcher asks us who we'd like to go on a date with, it's the real artist, not the fictitious woman, that we plump for. The soap opera is unable to suspend our disbelief - we'd rather talk actresses than made up hairdressers, café assistants or barmaids.

Meanwhile, pity those poor unfortunate women hooked into their thrice weekly doses of made-up life, so valuable these days as neighbours no longer gossip over the back fence - there must be some reality construct to take this activity's place. They shake fists at the actors who play the villains when they're down their local Tesco's, they give stern advice to the less-than-chaste women who they cannot realise are thespians, not harlots or lesbians.

Us guys don't buy into these soaps. Give us action, adventure, and some well-crafted and unusual storytelling that's as far removed from reality as possible. We all live real life to the max, and would prefer others not to do so for us! Problem is, it seems there aren't enough like-minded women to go around!


Monday, 25 February 2008 07:39

Rage Against The Screen: 0001

The Wrath of Fans ...


It’s only television, right?

You sit down. You watch. Hopefully you enjoy what you see. And if you don’t you either watch something else or do something else. Few things in life are that simple. But in this instance, that’s the way it is, so enjoy.

It’s the very definition of the unspoken contract. Which is this:

1. The programme makers make the programmes.
2. The audience watches the programmes.

Okay? That’s as far as it goes. A lot of people who get this already. The problem is there are many out there who don’t.

By all means enjoy your favourite shows. After all, there’s a fair chance that’s what the programme makers want. Be enthusiastic celebrating them in whatever way you see fit. Just don’t take it too far. Which some do. Not all fans. Just the ‘avid fans.’ The obsessives - a.k.a. The Real Whack Jobs. And those sons of bitches are the ones giving us all a bad rap.

Not the faction that dress up in their Starfleet uniforms or have their own home-made Cybermen outfit. They’re about as harmless as natural radiation. Although the dobbers that come in a fancy dress that involves knives and swords and stupid replica firearms have some serious issues they need to address. (The words very, tiny, and penis may be involved).

No the real goofs are the ones who think because they are fans of the programme they have some kind of ownership of the programme. They are the ones who have their tiresome form letter campaigns. They are the ones who send the networks items in the post.

Which meant that The WB found itself the recipient of bottles of Tabasco sauce when it looked like the plug was going to be pulled on the teen alien nonsense Roswell and TNT were inundated with Pez dispensers when the little oiks set out to save Witchblade. And then they dance and cheer when they get another year or whatever temporary victory they can claim as their own.

It could be worse. Of late The Sci-Fi Channel has been getting a drubbing for knocking Farscape on the head and then having the audacity to remake Battlestar Galactica without asking permission first. Well, gee whiz.... Shame on them!

I saw a couple episodes of Farscape once. Given the choice of watching more and having a pissed-off weasel sewn into my colon, I’d have gone straight for surgery. Even the VCR refused to record one of the final shows while I was out. As for the Battlestar Galactica remake, I’ll get around to that another time, but my opinion for now is the whining little pricks should all be beheaded. Slowly. With a sharpened table spoon.

The Farscape cancellation was pretty obvious. It under-performed. Not enough people were watching the show and the outgoing didn’t warrant the returns. It happens all the time in television and most normal people have enough sense to accept it. Networks don’t simply toss away tried and tested programmes like so much used Kleenex. Not without a good reason, anyway.

Then there was the hullabaloo over Stargate SG-1. I would have thought everyone would be up in arms because they’re still making the damn nonsense. It’s like letting UNIT take over Doctor Who’s Tardis and then removing any interest and excitement.

And the cause of the demented rage? One of the actors left because he wanted to get on with his career. Without him around all the female fans got their sofa cushions all hot and moist in an altogether different fashion. Even with him back, after a year of waiting for the telephone to ring, they still hassle the production company, bitching if he’s not in an episode.

The best advice for these pent-up harridans is to hook up with a guy and get some serious deep dicking. Otherwise they’re going to be first ones called when some studio needs to recast the Kathy Bates role in a remake of Misery.

The strange thing is the connection here. I haven’t come across fans bursting with abject fury because Aaron Sorkin is leaving The West Wing. The unfathomable, inarticulate rage always comes from science fiction fans.

What a bunch a sad, scary twists they are. For once Shatner, back when he hosted Saturday Night Live, was right on the money.


Friday, 22 February 2008 08:54

Champions, The

A plane crash in Tibet gives these secret agents the edge ...


UK (ITC) - 1968-69 - 30 episodes (60 mins) – Colour


01. The Beginning
Guests: Felix Aylmer (The Old Man), Kenneth J Warren (Whittaker), Joseph Furst (Chislenkan), Eric Young (Ho Ling), Burt Kwouk (Chinese Major).
Plot: Rescued from certain death, Nemesis agents Sterling, Barrett and Macready find themselves with special powers given to them by a mysterious Tibetan order. They put their new abilities to the test as Chinese soldiers set out to recover a stolen bacteriological material.
Writer: Dennis Spooner
Director: Cyril Frankel

02. The Invisible Man
Guests: Peter Wyngarde (John Hallam), Sumner James (Culliford), Basil Dignam (Sir Frederick Howard), Aubrey Morris (Van Velden), Steve Plytas (Boursin), Dave Prowse (Weightlifter).
Plot: Trying to determine which bank will be the next target for a gang of robbers, Sterling's capture leads him to hear voices from an invisible foe.
Writer: Donald James
Director: Cyril Frankel

03. Reply Box No 666
Guests: Anton Rogers (Jules), Brian Worth (Bourges), George Murcell (Nikko), George Roubicek (Semenkin), Imogen Hassall (Cleo), Nike Arrighi (Corinne), Linbert Spencer (Clive).
Plot: When an advertisement is placed in the personal column of a Caribbean newspaper: “Wanted, a Parrot that speaks German”, our heroic trio find themselves in an explosive situation.
Writer: Philip Broadley
Director: Cyril Frankel

04. The Experiment
Guests: David Bauer (Doctor Glind), Allan Cuthbertson (Cranmore), Madelena Nicol (Chrissie), Nicholas Courtney (Doctor Farley), Caroline Blakiston (Marianne Grant), Nita Lorraine (Susan).
Plot: Persuaded to volunteer for a secret experiment, Sharron finds herself tricked by a scientist, creating a breed of super-humans, equal to The Champions, to carry out a series of thefts.
Writer: Tony Williamson
Director: Cyril Frankel

05. Happening
Guests: Jack MacGowran (Banner), Michael Gough (Joss), Grant Taylor (General Winters), Bill Cummings (Aston).
Plot: As one of three men isolated in an atomic test area, Barrett has to disarm a bomb that is soon due to go off, before it devastates part of Australia.
Writer: Brian Clemens
Director: Cyril Frankel

06. Operation Deep-Freeze
: Patrick Wymark (General Gomez), Robert Urquhart (Hemmings), Walter Gotell (Jost), Peter Arne (Margoli), George Pastell (Colonel Santos), Michael Godfrey (Mendoza), Martin Boddey (Gregson), Derek Sydney (Zerrilli), Alan White (Hoffner).
Plot: A mysterious explosion in Antarctica and the disappearance of the scientists sent to investigate, leads Stirling and Barrett to a secret bunker stockpiling nuclear missiles.
Writer: Gerald Kelsey
Director: Paul Dickson

07. The Survivors
: Clifford Evans (Colonel Reitz), Donald Huston (Richter), John Tate (Schmeltz), Bernard Kay (Emil), John Porter (Hans), Stephen Yardley (Pieter), Hugo Panczak (Heinz).
Plot: Assigned to the murders of three students in the Austrian Alps, the Nemesis agents find that their investigations lead them to the discovery of survivors from World War Two.
Writer: Donald James
Director: Cyril Frankel

08. To Trap a Rat
: Guy Rolfe (Walter Pelham), Edina Ronay (Sandra), Michael Standing (Edwards), Kate O'Mara (Jane Purcell), Toke Townley (Peanut Vendor), John Lee (Ambulance Doctor).
Plot: After Scotland Yard investigations lead to a dead end, The Champions are called in to infiltrate a drug ring whose tainted consignments are killing off London's drug addicts.
Writer: Ralph Smart
Director: Sam Wanamaker

09. The Iron Man
: George Murcell (El Caudillo), Patrick Magee (Pedraza), Robert Crewdson (Gallezan), Michael Mellinger (General Tornes), Stephen Berkoff (Carlos), Norman Florence (Cabello).
Plot: Asked to protect a former dictator, Sterling, Barrett and Macready take on the roles of domestic staff in his household to discover who is trying to kill him.
Writer: Philip Broadley
Director: John Llewellyn Moxey

10. The Ghost Plane
: Andrew Keir (Doctor John Newman), Michael Wynne (Coates), Tony Steedman (Hardwick), Dennis Chinnery (Bridges), Vanessa Tindall (Hilary), John Bryant (Crolic).
Plot: The discovery of a revolutionary Chinese fighter aircraft leads the Champions to investigate a British Professor of Engineering, who is embittered after the Government shelved his original plans.
Writer: Donald James
Director: John Gilling

11. The Dark Island
: Vladek Sheybal (Max Kellor), Brandon Brady (Withers), Alan Gifford (Admiral), Benito Carruthers (Perango), Bill Nagy (Controller), Andy Ho (Kai Min), Robert Lee (Tsi Chang).
Plot: After an Air Force plane is shot down, and three agents disappear investigating an island off the coast of America, the Nemesis team uncover a plot to bring about nuclear armageddon.
Writer: Tony Williamson
Director: Cyril Frankel

12. The Fanatics
: Gerald Harper (Croft), Julian Glover (Anderson), David Burke (Roger Carson), Donald Pickering (Colonel Banks), David Morrell (Krasner), Barry Stanton (Faber), John Robinson (Collings).
Plot: Assigned to infiltrate a group of fanatical murderers, Barrett has to find a way to stop them when he learns the next target is the Nemesis leader, Tremayne.
Writer: Terry Nation
Director: John Gilling

13. Twelve Hours
: Mike Pratt (Raven), Henry Gilbert (Drobnik), Peter Howell (Admiral Cox), John Turner (Lieutenant Commander Street), Viola Keats (Madame Drobnik), Laurie Asprey (Jackson).
Plot: Accompanying a visiting President and his wife on a submarine journey, Barrett and Macready need to use all their resources when an attempt is made on the President’s life.
Writer: Donald James
Director: Paul Dickson

14. The Search
: John Woodvine (Kruger Haller), Reginald Marsh (Conrad Schultz), Joseph Furst (Dr Mueller), Patricia English (Suzanne Taylor), Ernst Walder (Albrecht).
Plot: After a neo-Nazi regime steals a submarine armed with four warheads, The Champions find themselves in a race to sabotage plans to hold London hostage under nuclear threat.
Writer: Dennis Spooner
Director: Leslie Norman

15. The Gilded Cage
: John Carson (Symond), Jennie Linden (Samantha), Clinton Greyn (Lovegrove), Charles Houston (Orley), Tony Caunter (Brandon), Sebastian Breaks (Haswell).
Plot: Worried that someone is attempting to wipe out Nemesis agents after an operative's files are stolen from their Geneva headquarters, Tremayne allows Barrett to be kidnapped to snare the forces acting against them.
Writer: Philip Broadley
Director: Cyril Frankel

16. Shadow of the Panther
: Zia Mohyeddin (Prengo), Donald Sutherland (David Crayley), Hedger Wallace (Charters), Tony Wall (Riley), Christopher Carlos (Doctor), Tania (Girl in Red).
Plot: There are unusual happenings at a Haitian hotel, currently entertaining a large number of scientists and politicians. It leads Sharron to investigate a death seemingly caused by voodoo.
Writer: Tony Williamson
Director: Freddie Francis

17. A Case of Lemmings
: John Bailey (Umberto), Jeanne Roland (Claudine), Edward Brayshaw (Del Marco), Michael Graham (Jacquet), Michael Slater (Pillet), Olive McFarland (Madame Carnot).
Plot: After several agents take their own lives, The Champions are led to the discovery of a drug that causes recipients to commit suicide, part of a daring plan to infiltrate the Interpol network.
Writer: Philip Broadley
Director: Paul Dickson

18. The Mission
: Anthony Bate (Doctor Pederson), Dermot Kelly (Hogan), Harry Towb (George), Patricia Haines (Sophia), Robert Russell (Maltman), Paul Hansard (Emil Boder).
Plot: Posing as a Mafiosa gangster and his moll, Barrett and Macready attempt to infiltrate an organisation that provides escape routes for criminals, by having them altered using plastic surgery.
Writer: Donald James
Director: Robert Asher

19. The Interrogation
: Colin Blakely (The Interrogator).
Plot: Returning from a mission, Stirling finds himself imprisoned and subjected to brutal, drug-fuelled questioning by an unknown interrogator, who suspects him of being a double agent.
Writer: Dennis Spooner
Director: Cyril Frankel

20. The Silent Enemy
: Paul Maxwell (Captain Baxter), Warren Stanhope (Admiral Parker), James Maxwell (Stanton), Marne Maitland (Minoes), Esmond Knight (The Minister) David Kelly (Lighthouse Keeper).
Plot: After a missing American submarine surfaces off Ireland with all the crew dead, the Champions retrace the voyage, leading to a secret laboratory developing a sinister gas.
Writer: Donald James
Director: Robert Asher

21. The Body Snatchers
: Bernard Lee (Squires), Philip Locke (Yeats), Ann Lynn (Inge Kalmutt), JG Devlin (Frank Nicholls), Gregory Phillips (David Fenton), Christina Taylor (Lee Rogers).
Plot: Attempting to unravel the hidden meaning of a letter received by a journalist, The Champions travel to Wales and find themselves involved in a macabre espionage plot.
Writer: Terry Nation
Director: Paul Dickson

22. Get Me Out of Here!
: Frances Cuka (Anna Maria Martes), Ronald Radd (Commandante), Philip Madoc (Angel Martes), Eric Pohlmann (Minister), Anthony Newlands (Cuevos), Godfrey Quigley (Josef).
Plot: When a leading doctor in medical research is lured home to a Caribbean island with the false story of a patient requiring her attention, The Champions are sent to rescue her.
Writer: Ralph Smart
Director: Cyril Frankel

23. The Night People
: Terence Alexander (Douglas Trennick), Adrienne Corri (Mrs Trennick), David Lodge (Porth), Anne Sharp (Jane Soames), Michael Bilton (Dan), Walter Sparrow (George Whetlor).
Plot: After Sharron disappears on holiday in Cornwall, Craig and Richard’s attempts to find her lead them into an encounter with the supernatural.
Writer: Donald James
Director: Robert Asher

24. Project Zero
: Rupert Davies (Doctor Voss), Peter Copley (Antrobus), Geoffrey Chater (Forster), Reginald Jessup (Grayson), Jan Holden (Miss Davies), Donald Morely (Sloane), John Moore (Travis).
Plot: Investigating the murder of a scientist, Barrett poses as a computer expert to infiltrate a secret project to detonate all stockpiles of nuclear weapons.
Writer: Tony Williamson
Director: Don Sharp

25. Desert Journey
: Jeremy Brett (The Bey), Roger Delgado (Yussef), Peter Madden (Sheikh), Nik Zaran (Said), Reg Lye (Curtis), Henry Soskin (Branco), Tony Cyrus (Major Tuat), Yole Marinelli (Sonia).
Plot: The Champions are faced with the challenge of returning The Bey, a young leader enjoying his self-imposed exile in Rome, to his strife-ridden North African homeland to avert a revolution.
Writer: Ian Stuart Black
Director: Paul Dickson

26. Full Circle
: Patrick Allen (Westerman), John Nettleton (Booker), Martin Benson (Garcian), Gabrielle Drake (Sara), James Donnelly (Pickering), Jack Gwillim (Carrington).
Plot: Posing as a prison inmate to determine who is attempting to free other prisoners, Stirling discovers the escape route, but finds more than he bargained for after making his bid for freedom.
Writer: Donald James
Director: John Gilling

27. Nutcracker
: William Squire (Duncan), John Franklyn Robbins (Warren), David Langton (Lord Mauncey), Michael Barrington (Manager), John Brown (Walcott), David Kelsey (Travers).
Plot: After attempts are made to steal valuable NATO documents, The Champions are assigned to test an impregnable vault whose security systems are designed to kill any intruders.
Writer: Philip Broadley
Director: Roy Ward Baker

28. The Final Countdown
: Alan Mcnaughton (Von Spitz), Wolf Frees (Doctor Neimann), Derek Newark (Kruger), Basil Henson (Wolf Eisen), Morris Perry (Schultz), Hannah Gordon (Anna), Michael Lees (Tom Brooks).
Pot: Sent to locate a bomb before it detonates, what seems like a routine task for the three Nemesis agents soon turns into a mission fraught with dangers.
Writer: Gerald Kelsey
Director: John Gilling

29. The Gun-Runners
: William Franklyn (Hartington), Paul Stassino (Selvameni), David Lodge (Filmer), Guy Deghy (Schroeder), Wolfe Morris (Nadkarni), Eric Young (Burmese Police Captain).
Plot: Assigned to track down a gang of arms dealers, The Champions find themselves in the perilous depths of the Burmese jungle, facing off against ruthless opponents.
Writer: Dennis Spooner
Director: Robert Asher

30. Autokill
: Eric Portman (Barkar), Paul Eddington (Klein), Harold Innocent (Doctor Amis), Richard Owens (George Brading), Rachel Herbert (Loretta Brading), Bruce Boa (American Colonel).
Plot: When Nemesis agents are brainwashed into killing their colleagues, Barrett is captured during the investigation and is programmed to kill Sterling.
Writer: Brian Clemens
Director: Roy Ward Baker


Stuart Damon
as Craig Stirling
William Gaunt as Richard Barrett
Alexandra Bastedo as Sharron Macready
Anthony Nicholls as Tremayne


Friday, 22 February 2008 08:50

Kindred: The Embraced

Modern day vampires in love and at war ...


USA - 1996 - 8 episodes (60 mins) – Colour


01. Pilot
: Basil Hoffman (Stevie Ray), Kate Vernon (Alexandra Serris), Richard Danielson (Billy)
Plot: With war brewing between rival gangs in San Francisco, Detective Frank Kohanek seizes on the opportunity to put crime boss Julian Luna behind bars. When his lover is killed after revealing the secrets of the Kindred, Kohanek realises there is more at stake.
Writer: John Leekley
Director: Peter Medak

02. Prince of the City
: Scott MacDonald (Paul Boyle), Yuji Okumoto (Lieutenant Kwan), Christian Svenson (Nino Donelli), Michael Bauer (I.A. Investigator), Richard Danielson (Billy).
Plot: Caught with the murder weapon after an informant trying to lure Fiori into discussing union bribes is killed, Kohanek turns to Luna to help exonerate him with Internal Affairs.
Writer: John Leekley
Director: Peter Medak

03. The Nightstalker
: Nicky Katt (Starkweather), Kimberly Kates (Elaine Rabb), Philip Earl Johnson (Eric), Thomas Prisco (Doctor Mestres).
Plot: When a schizophrenic is embraced and uses his powers to go on a rampage through the city, Luna enlists Kohanek and Cash in the manhunt before the truth about the Kindred is made public.
Writers: PK Simonds and John Leekley
Director: John Harrison

04. Romeo and Juliet
: Emile Hirsch (Abel), Brian Lally (Detective O’Fallon), Gavin Ducker (Martin), Judy Kain (Nurse).
Plot: Fiori continues his quest for power, and tries to start a clan war by sanctioning the murder of a Gangrel. Meanwhile, Cash asks Luna for permission to embrace Sasha into the Kindred.
Writer: Joel Blasberg
Director: Ralph Hemecker

05. Live Fast, Die Young and Leave a Good Looking Corpse
: Ivan Sergei (Zane), J C Brandy (Rhiannon), Chandra West (Grace Dugan), Christopher Allport (Mr Dugan).
Plot: When an rock star new on the scene embraces a groupie against her will, a furious Luna orders Lillie to control the Toreador before he causes trouble for all the clans.
Writer: Aaron Meidelsohn & Paul Tomasy
Director: James L Conway

06. The Rise and Fall of Eddie Fiorri
: Ed O’Ross (Cyrus), Jack Conley (Benning), Blair Valk (Marissa), Kimberly Hooper (Lorraina), Richard Danielson (Billy).
Plot: While Lillie hires a private investigator to obtain evidence of Luna with Caitlin, the Prince of Los Angeles comes to town, accompanied by a shape-shifting assassin intent on killing Luna.
Writer: Scott Smith Miller
Director: Kenneth Fink

07. Bad Moon Rising
: Skipp Sudduth (Goth), Patrice Charbonneau (Camilla), Una Damon (Mai Sung), Maureen Flannigan (Ruth Doyle), Yuji Okumoto (Lieutenant Kwan).
Plot: When an exiled member of the Nosferatu Clan snatches a baby in Golden Gate Park, Luna organises a search for him while trying to stop Caitlin from sensationalising the story in the press.
Writers: Jean Gennis, Phyllis Murphy and John Leekley
Director: James L Conway

08. Cabin in the Woods
: Titus Welliver (Cameron), Tony Amendola (Sorrel), Gordon Capps (Clyde).
Plot: Ambushed by renegade Brujah vampires while on a trip to the countryside, a mortally wounded Luna tells Caitlin of his rise to power, leaving her to decide whether to save his life or not.
Writer: PK Simonds
Director: Ralph Hemecker


C Thomas Howell
as Detective Frank Kohanek
Mark Frankel as Julian Luna
Kelly Rutherford as Caitlin Byrne
Stacy Haiduk as Lillie Langtry
Erik King as Detective Sonny Toussaint
Patrick Bauchau as Archon Raine
Channon Roe as Cash
Jeff Kober as Daedalus
Peter Rocca as Nino
Brigid Conley Walsh as Sasha
Brian Thompson as Eddie Fiori


Friday, 22 February 2008 08:48

Edge of Darkness

Nuclear terrorism leads to a decade-defining environmental message ...


UK (BBC) - 1985 - 6 episodes (60 mins) – Colour

01. Compassionate Leave
: David Fleeshman (Jones), Sean Caffrey (McCroon), Alan Starkey (Muntsey), Bill Stewart (Dingle).
Plot: After his daughter is murdered, policeman Ronald Craven’s own personal investigation into her death leads him to discover her hidden life as a radical environmental activist.
Writer: Troy Kennedy Martin
Director: Martin Campbell

02. Into the Shadows
: David Fleeshman (Jones), Tim McInnerny (Terry Shields), Paul Humpoletz (Elham), Bill Stewart (Dingle), Anthony Douse (Carlisle).
Plot: As the police continue their search for his daughter’s killer, Craven crosses paths with security services in pursuit of a classified file on Emma and her activities with Gaia.
Writer: Troy Kennedy Martin
Director: Martin Campbell

03. Burden of Proof
: David Fleeshman (Jones), Allan Cuthbertson (Chilwell), Tim McInnerny (Terry Shields), Roy Heather (Lowe), Paul Humpoletz (Elham), Bill Stewart (Dingle), Struan Rodger (Mac).
Plot: With the police eager to close the file on Emma, Craven is called as a witness when IIF comes under scrutiny at Westminster, after American interests make a bid to acquire Northmoor.
Writer: Troy Kennedy Martin
Director: Martin Campbell

04. Breakthrough
: Sean Caffrey (McCroon), Patrick Godfrey (Oakley), Tony Matthews (Toby Berwick), Jo Ross (Miriam Berwick), Allan Cuthbertson (Chilwell), Matthew Guinness (Menzies).
Plot: Suffering a breakdown after confronting Emma’s killer, Craven becomes more determined than ever to breach MI5 security, and find a route through the mine shafts into Northmoor.
Writer: Troy Kennedy Martin
Director: Martin Campbell

05. Northmoor
: Trevor Bowen (Childs), Brian Croucher (Conners), Allan Cuthbertson (Chilwell), Sarah Martin (Polly Pelham), Paul Williamson (Bewes).
Plot: As the government enquiry into IIF continues, Craven and Jedburgh follow in the footsteps of the Gaia team, making their way into Northmoor to find evidence of the hot cell.
Writer: Troy Kennedy Martin
Director: Martin Campbell

06. Fusion
: David Jackson (Colonel Lawson), Anne Scott-Jones (Jemima), Sean McCarthy (Nallers), Jeremy Child (Minister).
Plot: Knowing that time is running out, and feeling responsible for recovering the plutonium, Craven sets out to track down Jedburgh who has decided to settle the score with Grogan.
Writer: Troy Kennedy Martin
Director: Martin Campbell


Bob Peck
as Ronald Craven
Joe Don Baker as Darius Jedburgh
Joanne Whalley as Emma Craven
Charles Kay as Guy Pendleton
Ian McNiece as Henry Harcourt
John Woodvine as Assistant Chief Constable Ross
Jack Watson as James Godbolt
Kenneth Nelson as Jerry Grogan
Hugh Fraser as Robert Bennett
Zoe Wanamaker as Clementine


Friday, 22 February 2008 08:23

X Files, The

The Truth Was Out There ...


USA - 1993-02 - 202 episodes (60 mins) - colour

Created by Chris Carter, The X-Files starred David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson as two FBI agents, the true believer Fox Mulder and his sceptical partner Dana Scully, investigating unsolved cases that dealt with strange phenomena that defied rational explanation.

Inspired in part by Kolchak: The Night Stalker and The Invaders, whose stars Darren McGavin and Roy Thinnes would make guest appearances in the show, and shot with pseudo-documentary styling, The X-Files veered between monster-of-the-week shows and alien abductions. As the series progressed, Carter and the writers began to put together an extended mythology, triggered by Mulder's initial search for his abducted sister.

Involving alien hybrids, clones, relentless shape-shifting bounty hunters, sentient black oil and killer bees, as well as super-soldiers and numerous inside sources who had their own agenda for helping Mulder battle the Cigarette Smoking Man (who was the point man for a large multi-national syndicate working toward eventual alien colonisation), the ongoing storyline rarely segued into the continuing stand-alone episodes, giving the series a schizophrenic feel. Additionally, the growing cast of supporting characters were not fully utilised.

After Duchovny cut back on his appearances, before leaving the show in the final season, Robert Patrick and Annabeth Gish were drafted in to help Anderson's Dana Scully, who also began to take a back seat role. Having created this large, far-reaching mythology, the various plot threads were either forgotten or abandoned, rather than seamlessly woven together, and the series never reached its full potential.

The often-talked about second big-screen movie has plenty of loose ends to tie up - not an easy task when they will also need to make the project stand on its own as a piece of fiction in its own right, for the audiences who were not beguiled for nine seasons on television.

David Duchovny as Special Agent Fox Mulder
Gillian Anderson as Special Agent Dana Scully
Robert Patrick as Special Agent John Doggett
Annabeth Gish as Special Agent Monica Reyes
Mitch Pileggi as Asst Director Walter Skinner


Friday, 22 February 2008 08:19


Aliens have landed on Earth - and we're all potential unwilling donors for spare part surgery ...


UK - 1970-71 - 26 episodes (60 mins) - colour

Gerry and Sylvia Anderson's first foray into full live-action for TV, UFO used the same basic premise as Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons, with the Earth threatened by aliens. This time however, their presence was physical and the tone of the show more adult than anyone expected: an autopsy of the green-skinned, liquid breathing aliens revealed they were coming to Earth to harvest human internal organs.

While the familiar Anderson inconography were very much in evidence - the UFOs were beaten back by the forces of the secret organisation S.H.A.D.O. (Supreme Headquarters, Alien Defence Organisation) using sophisticated gadgetry that included Moonbase Interceptors as the first line of defence, with Sky Diver aerial fighters, launched from a conjoined submarine, and S.H.A.D.O. Mobiles ready to engage UFOs that made it through to Earth - although most episodes had their fair share of action and special effects, many stories concentrated on the pressures S.H.A.D.O. operatives were put under and the sacrifices they had to make in the line of duty.

For all its high production values, UFO was not networked in the UK, which meant ITV channels showed it at different times in a very haphazard way. Concerns over content meant some episodes were screened late at night. In the USA, it was syndicated to local TV stations, which meant it didn't get exposure on one of the three main networks - but ratings for early episodes in the major US markets were good.

As one of the most spectacular science fiction series produced at the time, it was also one of the most expensive. The positive reaction to the first few episodes looked like a further season would gain a newtork sale. Pre-production began on new episodes, which envisioned S.H.A.D.O. moving its operation to an enlarged moonbase to combat the continued threat. Unfortunately, when the American ratings tumbled financial backing was withdrawn and the revised format was recycled to create Space: 1999.

Ed Bishop as Commander Ed Straker
Michael Billington as Colonel Paul Foster
George Sewell as Colonel Alec Freeman
Wanda Ventham as Colonel Virginia Lake
Gabrielle Drake as Lt Gay Ellis
Grant Taylor as General Henderson
Vladek Sheybal as Doctor Jackson
Peter Gordeno as Captain Peter Carlin
Antonia Ellis as Joan Harrington


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